Diversity through Inclusion

By Juanita Ray, Local 223 UWUA Treasurer

This month, I would like to talk about how we can strive to embrace and celebrate diversity through inclusion.

The definition of diversity is the state or fact of being different; the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc. while inclusion is self-explanatory and means to include.

In the workplace, organizations are making a concerted effort to be more conscious and inclusive of diversity among its employees. Although I applaud the effort towards diversity, without Inclusion, diversity alone is just that “diversity” Inclusion is the legs to getting the most out of diversity. Whether it is schools, churches, governments, communities or unions—must know that inclusion is the key. It is the shared ideas from multiple diverse people that can skyrocket any industry to the next level.

So how can organizations use inclusion to learn to embrace and respect the diversity that is all around us? Incorporate workplace learning opportunities and interactive events where you get to know the people you work with. Share your idea; ask someone outside of your circle of influence, what do you think?  It is these activities that can take a company or union from good to great. Without inclusion, diversity stands alone. It’s up to us to open ourselves up to diversity by including others—and that will net us the rich experiences that diversity can provide.

Let’s put our hearts and minds together and continue the course to embrace all diversity through inclusion at work and in our homes, schools and communities.

Dave Cafagna